Is Rashid Shaheed a Rest of Season Fantasy Football Starter After His Week 8 Explosion?

Shaheed is your typical boom-or-bust deep threat.

Second-year, undrafted free agent Rashid Shaheed has been flying, literally, under the radar in traditional fantasy leagues because despite his big-play ability, he hasn’t warranted enough attention to risk putting into starting lineups.

With Chris Olave and Michael Thomas clearly ahead of him on the Saints target totem pole, Shaheed garners just 4.8 targets-per-game.

But after going off for 153 yards and a touchdown on just three receptions, could more looks go his way sooner rather than later?

SHAHEED’S GAME IS STILL GROWING

Not only did Shaheed have to come in during his rookie year transitioning from an FCS school in Weber State to the pro level, he was returning from a torn ACL tear suffered at the end of his final year.

Following a boom-or-bust 28-488-2 rookie season, Saints coaching staff and players have noted how he looks more comfortable in his second year, with special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi pointing out that he “was thinking too much about the play” more often last season.

Joining Rizzi was wide receivers coach Kodi Burns, who believes that Rashid is one of the few receivers who “can run 4.3, but also play 4.3.”

“It’s very rare,” Burns said. “There’s really just a handful of guys you’d really list. He’s in that category of a guy with straight-line speed, but also can really snap down and break down and transition on a dime. He’s one of the very special players who can do that.”

Shaheed carried a catch rate into 2023, per Statmuse, that really was not possible to replicate:

He has, however continued to be a beast in the area of long gains, ranking third in the league in average depth of target at 16.2 yards, per PlayerProfiler.

HAS HE EARNED A STARTING SPOT IN FANTASY LINEUPS?

Considering his role as a field stretcher, combined with averaging a 62-percent snap share, Shaheed has always had the potential to put up a day like he did this past weekend against the Colts.

And as Scott Barrett points out, the matchup was a juicy one.

The signs point to Sunday being an anomaly until proven otherwise. Let’s see consecutive games like this first, along with a higher target share, before crowning him with a starting slot in redraft outside of the deepest leagues.

Otherwise, you’re in danger of being let down in a big way. Week 8 marks the third time Rashid has finished as at least the WR11 in half-PPR. The other two times, he finished as the WR53 and WR55 the next week.

And unfortunately, if you want him off the waiver wire now, he may cost more FAAB than is justified to get him.

I would be weary of spending more than 5 percent FAAB to pick him up. Yes, the future is still trending up, but I believe it is likely that Week 8 will turn out to be his best game of the season.

He hasn’t finished higher than the WR53 in five of eight games in 2022. That trend could likely last through to the end of this season, too. So if spending FAAB for him, buyer beware.

In dynasty leagues, where Shaheed should be rostered already, I’d consider him a hold. No one ought to be offering a future 1st round pick for him, and his ceiling remains high enough to merit the risk of holding onto him in case he eventually plays to the level of a 1st rounder, or higher…

Stay tuned to RSJ for the Wolf’s Week 9 Rankings to see how high of a jump Shaheed gets moving forward.

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